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Oncology. 2009;76(4):254-61. doi: 10.1159/000205388. Epub 2009 Feb 26.

Capecitabine and celecoxib as second-line treatment of advanced pancreatic and biliary tract cancers.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.



An increasing number of patients with advanced pancreatic or biliary tract cancer who progress after a gemcitabine-containing regimen are candidates for further chemotherapy. We therefore evaluated a fully oral regimen of capecitabine and celecoxib (CapCel) as second-line treatment in these patients.


Thirty-five patients with documented progressive disease after first-line treatment were enrolled. Capecitabine was administered at a dose of 1,000 mg/m(2) b.i.d. for 2 consecutive weeks followed by 1 week of rest; celecoxib was given continuously at 200 mg b.i.d. Progression-free survival at 3 months was the primary study endpoint.


The CapCel combination was associated with an overall response rate of 9% and median survival duration of 19 weeks. Sixty percent of patients were free from progression 3 months after the start of treatment. Multivariate analysis identified a positive clinical benefit response and a decline in CA 19.9 serum levels >25% compared with baseline levels as independent predictors of prolonged survival. The treatment protocol was well tolerated with negligible hematological toxicity. The most common grade 3 non-hematological toxicities were hypertransaminasemia, diarrhea and asthenia.


The CapCel combination is a safe treatment option with moderate activity in patients with pancreatic/biliary tract cancer after failure of a previous gemcitabine-containing regimen.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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